Nine Mexico City police officers were dismissed for extortion in the last three months of 2019, police chief Omar García Harfuch said on Tuesday.
The officers are among 12 police who were referred to the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office between October and December for allegedly committing high-impact crimes, he told a press conference.
“We have ongoing investigations that have not yet resulted in arrests but in these past three months . . .12 ex-colleagues were sanctioned and referred to the Attorney General’s Office for a range of crimes, mainly extortion . . .” García said.
President López Obrador said on Wednesday that a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in the nation’s police forces is “essential” in order to combat the high levels of crime.
“. . . If there’s corruption [within police forces] nothing is resolved . . .” he told reporters at his regular news conference.
The president said the federal government is working with the states to help them expel corrupt police and professionalize their forces.
“. . . The National Conference of Governors has agreed to deal with this issue and they’re making an effort to purge police forces and improve their conditions,” López Obrador said.
In the capital, 120 officers in the investigative police division were reassigned to desk jobs late last year after failing confidence tests, while countless police in forces across the country have been dismissed in recent years for corruption and links to organized crime.
Poor pay for police is seen as a major reason why officers become involved in illegal activities, prompting López Obrador to push for higher salaries.
The Mexico City government has taken heed, announcing a 9% pay increase in December, while earlier last month Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue said that officers in that state would receive monthly salaries of 24,400 pesos (US $1,300) starting in January, making them the best paid in the country.
Source: El Universal (sp)